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(Robot) Woman Of The Future
Published on Tuesday, 05 July 2011


Underground Venues - Pauper's Pit
9 Jul, 7:30pm-8:30pm

Photo: Claes Gellerbrink

Helen Keen's last show, It Is Rocket Science, was a huge hit – screaming across the sky and splash-landing with its own series on Radio Four.  Keen by name and keen by nature, she bubbled with enthusiasm for her popular-science subject matter, drawing us irresistibly back through time to the retro-futuristic world of the space pioneers.  Now she’s back, with a whole new show… and this time, there are robots!

When we reviewed Rocket Science here in Buxton, we enjoyed Keen’s carefully-cultivated scatterbrained image – bookish (but not too bookish), and filled with persuasive charm.  Her material’s as much to do with society as it was with science, and the hour filled by her impromptu lecture flew by.  Make no mistake, though, she’s a decent stand-up too, with jokes worked finely around the central science story.

This year’s show promises to investigate both the scientific endeavours of the past – such as the automata obsessions of decadent Versailles – and the possibility of a scary robot takeover further down the line.  We caught an early version of the new act in Brighton this year, and we’ve high hopes it’ll turn into another hour of pure technological joy.  Even Tomorrow’s World was never quite as fun as this.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Buxton 2011.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.